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37
votes
14answers
39k views

If you break a stick at two points chosen uniformly, the probability the three resulting sticks form a triangle is 1/4. Is there a nice proof of this?

There is a standard problem in elementary probability that goes as follows. Consider a stick of length 1. Pick two points uniformly at random on the stick, and break the stick at those points. What ...
26
votes
14answers
6k views

Open problems in Euclidean geometry?

Which are some (research level) open problems in Euclidean geometry ? (Edit: I ask just out of curiosity, to understand how -and if- nowadays this is not a "dead" field yet) I should clarify a ...
40
votes
1answer
3k views

Probability that a stick randomly broken in five places can form a tetrahedron

Edit (June 2015): Addressing this problem is a brief project report from the Illinois Geometry Lab (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), dated May 2015, that appears here along with a ...
11
votes
3answers
801 views

Efficient visibility blockers in Polya's orchard problem

Polya's orchard problem asks for which radius $\rho$ of trees at each lattice point within a distance $R$ of the origin block all lines of sight to the exterior of the orchard. ...
9
votes
1answer
346 views

Can Tarski decide constructibility in elementary geometry?

Can the decision routine for Tarski's Elementary geometry be extended to decide when an existence claim in that theory can be instantiated by a compass and straightedge construction? The answer does ...
10
votes
1answer
280 views

Generalized Hlawka inequality

Let $E$ be a vector space over the real (the complex case is interesting too). We consider functions $f:E\rightarrow\mathbb R$ which satisfy the homogeneity property $$f(\lambda x)=|\lambda|\,f(x).$$ ...
6
votes
1answer
693 views

Shrink polygon to a specific area by offsetting

I have a 2D polygon that I want to shrink by a specific offset (A) to match a certain area ratio (R) of the original polygon. Is there a formula or algorithm for such a problem? I am interested in a ...
4
votes
3answers
816 views

Reconstructing an Euclidean point cloud from their pairwise distances

I have a collection of points $P_1, ..., P_N$ in some Euclidean space $\mathbb R^m$ and the coordinates $x_1, x_2, ..., x_N$ respectively associated with them, where $x_i$ is the usual Cartesian tuple ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

Tools for Removing Radicals from Equations

I am currently doing some investigations on Sylvester's 4 Point Problem Probability of 4 Points being in Convex Configuration and repeatedly face the problem of solving equations between sums of ...
53
votes
9answers
6k views

Geometric proof of the Vandermonde determinant?

The Vandermonde matrix is the $n\times n$ matrix whose $(i,j)$-th component is $x_j^{i-1}$, where the $x_j$ are indeterminates. It is well known that the determinant of this matrix is $$\prod_{1\leq ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

About the ratio of the areas of a convex pentagon and the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals

Question : Letting $S{^\prime}$ be the area of the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals of a convex pentagon whose area is $S$, then find the max of $\frac{S^\prime}{S}$. ...
24
votes
1answer
642 views

The Eyeball Theorem generalized

I have not seen the 2D Eyeball Theorem—that tangents from the centers of two circles, each encompassing the other, intersect each circle in the same segment length—generalized to higher ...
14
votes
2answers
984 views

Why do all incidence theorems follow from Pappus' theorem?

In Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen's ``Geometry and the Imagination," they state in the last paragraph of Chapter 20 that "Any theorems concerned solely with incidence relations in the [Euclidean ...
12
votes
5answers
993 views

Definition of area

I am looking for an attractive, but rigorous definition of area; say in Euclidean plane. Probably there is no short definition. It is OK to make it even longer, but can it be built from useful parts ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

The Ramanujan Problems.

I originally thought of asking this question at the Mathematics Stackexchange, but then I decided that I'd have a better chance of a good discussion here. In the Wikipedia page on Ramanujan, there is ...
12
votes
0answers
439 views

Does every connected set that is not a line segment cross some dyadic square?

A dyadic square is a subset of $R^2$ of the form $x + 2^{-n} [0,1]^2$ with $x \in 2^{-m} Z^2$, for integers $m,n \geq 0$. We say that a set $A$ crosses a square $S$ if there exists a connected subset ...
8
votes
3answers
756 views

On maximal regular polyhedra inscribed in a regular polyhedron

Let T, C, O, D, or I be regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron, respectively. Suppose that the outer polyhedron have edge-length 1. For example, it's easy to prove that ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Morley's theorem be generalized?

Morley's theorem states that in any triangle, the three points of intersection of the adjacent angle trisectors form an equilateral triangle. In a talk some years ago, David Rusin made the ...
12
votes
1answer
880 views

What is the limit of the “knight” distance on finer and finer chessboards?

Consider the "infinite chessboard" on the plane. Think of it as the lattice $X_1:=\mathbb{Z}^2$, and also finer chessboards $X_n$ corresponding to $\frac{1}{n}\cdot \mathbb{Z}^2$, $n\geq 1$. Given two ...
6
votes
1answer
700 views

Quadrature of the Lune

What is a good reference for the following result which I believe is proved by Tchebotarev. There are exactly 5 types of Lunes that are squarable. (Hippocrates produced three and then two more were ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Angle of a regular simplex

I find the following question embarrassing, but I have not been able to either resolve it, or to find a reference. What is the vertex angle of a regular $n$-simplex? Background: For a vertex $v$ ...
14
votes
1answer
272 views

Smallest regular simplex containing the unit cube in $R^n$

What is the length $e_n$ of the edge of the smallest $n$-dimensional regular simplex $S_n$ containing the $n$-dimensional unit cube $Q_n$? In particular, is there $n$ such that ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Angle subtended by the shortest segment that bisects the area of a convex polygon

Let $C$ be a convex polygon in the plane and let $s$ be the shortest line segment (I believe this is called a "chord") that divides the area of $C$ in half. What is the smallest angle that $s$ could ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Finding an invisible circle by drawing another line

A friend of mine taught me the following question. He said he found it on a book a few years ago. Though I've tried to solve it, I'm facing difficulty. Question: You know on a plane there is an ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Maximum number of mutually equidistant points in an n-dimensional Euclidean space is (n+1). Proof? [closed]

How to prove that the maximum number of mutually equidistant points in an n-dimensional Euclidean space is (n+1)?
2
votes
0answers
153 views

Probability of 4 Points being in Convex Configuration

Background of my question is, that I would like to implement a parallel preprocessing for a constructing the convex hull of very huge number of points in the euclidean plane; the idea is to process ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Three-dimensional Apollonian spirals

Given mutually (externally) tangent spheres $S_1$, $S_2$, $S_3$, $S_4$, let $S_n$ be the unique sphere externally tangent to $S_{n-1}$, $S_{n-2}$, $S_{n-3}$, and $S_{n-4}$ for $n \geq 5$. Let ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Calculating the “Belvedere Hull” of a Simple Planar Polygon

As an informal motivation the problem, imagine a tower with polygonal footprint, that is located in a beautiful landscape, the "Belvedere Hull" is then related to the directions, in which one would ...